Sunday, January 17, 2010

Partons pour la frontie-re!

   I'm in a car with a dominicano who speaks creole and has been living in Haiti for the past 23 years. He works for the Instituto Interamericano de Cooperacion para la Agricultura, a sister organization of the Pan American Development Foundation, with whom I was supposed to go in.  I landed in Santo at 12:30 AM and spent an hour at the hotel with James, then met with Cesareo (PADF's dominican man) so he could take me to Mr. Alberto and the rest of the IICA team.

   It's currently about 3 AM and Mr. Alberto is telling me about the three nights he spent sleeping under a pie boi wi! after the earthquake hit, before being able to leave for the DR. And now he's on his way back again to deliver supplies. Mr. Alberto and I discover that we have some friends in common, and that he speaks French in a funny way, and that my Spanish needs a lot of trabajo. Mr. Alberto also feels the need to do everything while he's driving including, but not limited to, putting more minutes on his phone,
changing the tape on his personal recorder, and putting on his face mask (all of which require the use of both hands).

  I wake up and it's 9 AM. We are at the frontie-re! Passport check for Mr. Alberto, but I am ok with my last minute made PADF badge. The border is packed, as can be expected: aid workers going in (most likely the ones who filled the Miami-DR flight) and wealthier Haitians going out. We stop and Mr. Alberto gets me some cassava, which would be good if my estomago wasn't exploding. Mr. Alberto also stops to chat with every car passing by.

Vamos, Mr. Alberto. Pasamos la frontera!

Thank you Mr. Alberto for taking me home safe and sound, though your driving forced my life to flash before my eyes many times.


  1. I bet your Spanish is just fine! Stay safe and keep posting when you can!